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What's an active usb cable and why do you need one?

What’s an active usb cable and why do you need one?


wayne 24 Views

I love technology – you probably do to, or you wouldn’t be reading this on the internet somewhere. But what I really hate is when you get a tiny usb cable with a camera, sound recorder, webcam or whatever. In many cases it may not matter much, but honestly, I bet you have come across […]




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I love technology – you probably do to, or you wouldn’t be reading this on the internet somewhere. But what I really hate is when you get a tiny usb cable with a camera, sound recorder, webcam or whatever. In many cases it may not matter much, but honestly, I bet you have come across times when you tried to connect something and it didn’t quite reach.

Am I right?

Now I thought I was clever and bought myself a cheap extension cable on ebay, but in some cases the really, really low priced ones are a bit fragile and the internal wires can break easily. I’ll admit that on at least one occasion I assumed a portable drive had died, when it was in fact the usb cable that was to blame.

What I eventually did, for a particular use I needed it for, was buy a 5 meter cable. The first one I bought was cheap. I hadn’t learned my lesson. It just didn’t work. It’s something to do with what kind of signal voltage drop-off you get on a long cable. I then bought a relatively cheap cable called an active extender cable. That was 5 meters as well, but about twice the price of the first one.

The cable itself was quite well made and well shielded. That means that that was protection of the internal wires, so they were much less likely to break if I twisted the cable a little. I’m really glad to say that the “active” cable worked perfectly. And although it was twice the cost of the first one, it was still pretty cheap. What I learned in the process was that you could so easily assume an expensive device has failed, just because you skimped a few pennies on the most important part – the connecting cable!

If you have any devices that you think are not connecting properly, if you can, try a different usb cable. You might be as surprised as I was that your device works just fine when you give it a decent cable to connect with. Of course, if the cable that comes with your device is long enough for your needs, it’s probably likely also to be of suitable quality for repeated use. But for those occasions when you need a little more reach, it pays to find a quality that gets the job done. And if you buy right, you won’t need to keep replacing the cable, so in the long-term you get good value for money.

This article was written by Amin from the UK. Amin writes and creates videos on Youtube reviewing and examining various products, so if you’d like to see a bit more about the active usb cable, you can do so at http://www.youtube.com/user/mygoodstuffreviewed and you’ll also be able to see a number of other review videos about various technology related products.

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